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Do Solar Pool Covers Really Work

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How Fast Does A Solar Cover Heat A Pool

Do Solar Pool Covers Work? The Good And The Bad of Solar Pool Covers

A solar cover can heat a pool in a week or less. You should expect your pool to get between 8 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit warmer, though some pools in extreme temperatures get almost 20 degrees warmer.

The warmth depends on how much of the water is covered, how much direct sunlight the pool gets, and the covers thickness.

Your swimming pool takes up to a week to get warmer, but some people report a temperature increase in as little as six hours.

The best way to drastically increase your pools temperature with a solar cover is to cover as much of the water as possible.

People with strangely-shaped pools can stack multiple pool covers or order a custom-cut pool cover. These covers work well with custom reels, but you might have to manually assist it while its rolling the cover onto the water.

The pool heats up much quicker if the cover is exposed to direct sunlight for several hours during the warmest part of the day.

Another way to make your solar cover work quicker is to point the bubbles down toward the water. The bubbles need to point in the correct direction, or they wont trap the UV rays.

On that note, dont use a tarp or any other unapproved variation of a makeshift pool cover. Theyre not designed to hold the heat or withstand the chlorine, so they wont work nearly as well.

Its up to you to decide if you prefer a budget-friendly 10 ml cover or a higher quality 12 ml cover.

My Experience Of Using A Solar Cover

We live in the Canary Islands, which are off the coast of north Africa, so the climate here is pretty warm generally. We have solar heating panels on the roof which obviously heats the water up quite well, but without a solar cover, much of that heat is lost overnight. We are not masochists, and dont want to die of shock when we get in the pool, so we want the temperature to be at least 82ºF/28ºC before we put a toe in.

Before we bought the solar cover we usually managed to swim comfortably from mid-April until mid-October. With the solar cover we are often in the pool by early March and swim until mid-November at least..

My pool normally loses 1.5-2ºF overnight without the cover on but hardly loses anything overnight when it is on.

In the summer, on a sunny day , without our solar heating on, I often see an increase of 2-3ºF during the day when I have the solar cover on.

Interestingly, we had a power outage for just over 24 hours last summer and I had the pool cover on. My wife and I wanted to swim late afternoon so I rolled the cover back and in we went. The water temperature in the top foot was much higher than the water below by at least 10ºF. Of course the pool pump had not been running so the water had been undisturbed which is why this was so noticeable.

As an aside, it was amazing how the warmer water had such a defined edge to the cooler water below. It was not a gradual transition from hot to cool as I would have expected but a sudden change.

Solar Pool Cover Bubbles Up Or Down

Good question as it is not really obvious.

However the answer to whether you have the bubbles up or down on solar cover is always bubbles down into the water.

The bubbles side has a larger surface area than the flat side so heat is transferred into the water more efficiently than if the pool blanket was the other way around.

The bubbles contain air and this is heated up by the sun and the heat is then transferred by the process of conduction. The flat side is the tough side whereas the bubble side is generally the least tough side. So having the bubbles facing down on the pools surface means they are protected from anything which may drop in the pool.

The smooth side therefore faces upwards. The beauty of it being smooth is that it makes it easier to clean. You can run the hose over it before you remove it from the pool.

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How To Use A Liquid Cover

This is the best part about liquid pool covers: there’s no big floppy piece of plastic to unroll and spread out!

You simply shake the bottle of liquid pool cover and pour in the amount the instructions tell you to.

Usually, you’ll add it weekly and most brands call for about 4 ounces per 20,000 gallons of water.

Its always best to pour it into the skimmer, but it will work if you add it directly to the water.

Also, you should run your pump while applying it so that it gets distributed properly.

You’ll only need to add it more than once a week during times of very high usage or severe weather conditions. In those cases, twice a week should do the trick.

When Liquid Really Makes Sense

Do Solar Pool Covers Work? Here Is My Experience

So, if your regular solar cover is due for replacement or youre just ready to try something new, liquid solar blankets might be just what the doctor ordered. The combined cost savings of water, energy, and appliance usage alone make it a great choice to protect your pool.

Theres also no rule saying that you cant use a liquid solar blanket and a regular cover at the same time. If youre really after warm, toasty water, energy savings, and water conservation, doubling up on your pools defense could make a lot of sense too. That way, if you ever forget to put on your regular solar cover, you always have an invisible backup, waiting in the wings.

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Why Should I Use A Solar Cover For My Pool

A solar cover is a sheet of plastic that looks like giant bubble wrap and lies on top of your swimming pool. According to, “Outdoor pools gain heat from the sun, absorbing 75%85% of the solar energy striking the pool surface. Most swimming pool heat loss is through evaporation, therefore swimming pool heating costs can be significantly reduced by using a pool cover.

Even without heating the pool will still get warm quicker in the Spring and remain warm longer in the Fall. A solar cover greatly reduces evaporation, which keeps the water inside the pool and greatly prevents heat loss.

So Exactly How Fast Does A Solar Cover Actually Heat A Swimming Pool

How fast a solar pool cover hears a pool mainly depends on how many hours of direct sunlight your pool is getting each day.

A solar cover can increase the temperature of the pool by 5 degrees every 12 hours.

Remember that your pool should be covered as much as possible. Plus, it should be getting no less than 6 hours of sunlight daily.

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Liquid Solar Cover: The Future Is Now

Is it really possible that you could pour something into your pool water that magically warms it up? Yup. Thats basically how liquid solar cover works. Except its not magic its more science!

Liquid solar cover contains aliphatic alcohols, which form a monolayer film on the surface of the water, thereby requiring upwardly escaping water molecules to expend energy in forcing adjacent molecular chains sufficiently apart to pass between them

In plain English? A one-molecule-thick layer of fatty alcohol sits on the surface of the water, inhibiting the waters ability to evaporate normally. Preventing evaporation prevents heat loss, and voilà! Your pool stays warmer than if you had no solar cover at all.

Liquid solar cover ranges in price from about $10 to about $30 or more, depending on brand and whether you buy a single container or a pack of multiple containers.

How Long Will A Solar Pool Cover Last

Do Liquid SOLAR POOL COVERS Really Work? | Swim University

Generally the thicker the cover the longer it will last. If you store the solar cover under cover or away from UV rays over winter and take care with it during the summer you may get 5 years out of it but it could be as little as 3 years.

I have to say this is one of my one bugbears with solar pool covers. Their one function in life is to be in full sunshine and float on water containing strong chemicals so why cant they be designed to withstand that better. Why cant the manufacturers solve this problem? But thats just me I guess.

Over time the UV light starts to rot the plastic and it starts to disintegrate. Individual bubbles start to come away . You just have to bite the bullet and replace it at that point.

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Getting The Most Out Of Your Solar Pool Cover

If you really like the solar pool cover benefits listed above, it might be time for you to bring your own pool in a new direction. This solar pool cover guide serves to give Florida pool owners direct, actionable facts about one of todays greatest pool innovations.

The team at GPS Pools is ready to help you take the next step of your journey. If youre unsure about which pool cover would be most effective, give our Lutz, FL location a call at 948-9091. Or, contact at our Land OLakes, FL location for more information.

The Ultimate Guide To Liquid Solar Pool Covers

A liquid solar pool cover is an invisible pool cover that can take the place of those bulky bubble wrap covers that can be cumbersome to use.

Those plastic solar covers work great, but because they can be a hassle, a lot of pool owners dont use them like they should.

Thats where liquid covers come in, which brings us to the first question you are probably asking:

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How To Remove A Solar Cover From Your Inground Or Above Ground Pool

If you have a large pool, or if you swim often, removing the solar blanket every time you want to use your pool can be quite a chore. One solution is to cut the solar blanket into smaller panels so you can remove the pieces one at a time. If youd rather not cut the blanket up, a convenient alternative is a solar cover reel.

Good for both inground, above ground, and Intex pools, the solar reel is placed at one end of the pool. Youll attach one end of the solar blanket to the reel, and then turn the handle or wheel. The blanket will be spooled onto the solar reel, saving you a lot of hard work.

Some solar blanket reels are available with wheels, so you can roll up your cover and then move the solar reel aside. Others come with mounting hardware to install permanently in one location. Which version works best for you will depend mostly on how much space you have around your pool.

If you dont have a solar reel, you can pull the cover off and accordion fold it. Pull about four feet out, then fold that section in half. Continue pulling two-foot sections, folding each one back and forth like an accordion. This method also lets you rinse off each small section before folding, if needed.

Tip: If you remove the solar blanket temporarily, be sure to keep it covered or in the shade to prolong its life.

How To Use A Solar Pool Cover

Do Solar Covers for Pool Really Work?

The first time you unpack it, a solar blanket may be a little unwieldy, but its easily fixed. First, unfold it next to the pool. Spread it out bubble-side down on top of the pool water. The bubbles keep your cover afloat while, depending on the color and type of cover, acting as little magnifying glasses to heat up your pool.

Straight out of the box, the solar blanket will probably hang out over the sides of your pool, especially if you have a uniquely shaped pool. Use multi-purpose scissors to trim the excess so the blanket fits inside the pool.

Tip: Leave a flap 2 to 3 inches long where your skimmer is so you can tuck it under the edge of the skimmer. This allows you to push debris into the skimmer before removing the blanket.

Ideally, youll put your solar blanket on whenever the pool is not in use. Daytime is the best time for it to heat up your water, of course, since it relies on the sun. However, keeping it on through the night prevents water and heat loss via evaporation.

Tip: Running your pump while your solar blanket is on is completely safe.

If youre in and out of the pool throughout the day, just be sure to put it back on when youve finished using the pool for the day. Obviously, youre not going to want to swim with a solar blanket on the pool, so before you get in, youll need to remove it.

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What Is A Liquid Solar Blanket

A liquid solar blanket is a chemical additive that you add to your pool to create a protective and heat-hoarding blanket over the waters surface. When added, it kicks off a chemical reaction that forms an invisible barrier or forcefield over your pool.

With a liquid solar blanket on your pool, your pool water will be protected from evaporation and heat loss, with the added bonus of actually heating your pool up from the sun. In some cases, liquid solar blankets can raise the temperature of pool water up to 6 degrees Fahrenheit.

When Not To Use A Liquid Solar Pool Cover

Here at Mr Pool Man, we often take a look at all sides and not just show the positives of something without fully informing our readers of the truth of certain products. Here are some situations where a solar pool cover wouldnt be of much use.

  • If you live in a Leafy area – if you live in an area where you have a leaf or debris problem, then liquid solar pool covers may not be a good idea as floating debris will break the surface film barrier that it creates.
  • If you live in a windy area – Now take a look at your pool, if the wind is constantly creating ripples on the surface, then solar pool covers will not be a good fit for you. Ripples on the surface caused by the wind will break the layer created by the liquid solar pool cover.
  • If your pool sees constant heavy use – If your pool sees heavy usage on a daily usage then a liquid solar pool cover may not be enough to keep your pool water warm. Of course, a solar pool cover wont work in this case as well, but we figured its good to get it out there as well. Just note that the more the pool is being used, the quicker the need to reapply a liquid solar pool cover because of the loss from splashing, and the chemical is lost from people going in and out of the pool all the time.
  • If you have a lot of water features – water features actively cool your pool water by exposing the water to the air and wind, plus the water movement created by the water features will break the surface film that the liquid solar blanket creates.

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Are Solar Covers For Pools Worth It

Solar covers for pools are worth it because they provide optimal heating without having to install extra equipment.

Furthermore, they keep your pool clean and clear from algae blooms when paired with proper filtration and sanitization. Pool covers can be customized to fit any swimming pool in the world.

You should consider a solar cover for these reasons:

  • Solar covers keep your pool significantly warmer than if it didnt have a cover. These covers retain tons of the UV rays that enter the water. The bubbles act as a barrier, stopping the heat from escaping. Your pool will be much warmer during all seasons of the year. Some people have up to a 20-degree increase!
  • Solar covers prevent debris from getting into the pool. Not only does this prevent algae blooms, but it also stops your pumps unwanted rattling noises. The debris gets trapped in the basket and overheats the pump without enough coverage. You can spray or sweep the debris off of the cover to stop it from falling into the water.
  • Most pool covers prevent up to 95% of evaporation. Your pool loses tons of chlorine and other chemicals through evaporation, especially during the warmer months. Your solar cover will keep your pools chemicals balanced, so you dont have to adjust them as often.

If youre interested in a solar cover, I suggest the Sun2Solar Pool Cover. These solar blankets come in 35 different sizes and are designed to fit any swimming pool.

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Invest In A Solar Pool Cover

Do Solar Covers or Solar Blankets Actually Warm Your Pool Water???

While it wont heat your inground or above ground pool as much as a traditional electric or gas heater will, any type of solar pool cover will keep more heatand more waterin your pool.

But it doesnt have to be a one or the other choice. You can use any kind of solar pool cover in tandem with an electric or gas heater, which will help you save money on utilities, water replacement, and pool chemicals. For such a modest upfront investment, you cant afford not to have one.

Happy Swimming!

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